Posted by: universitymindlab | July 23, 2008

An Idea Book

An Idea Book

By Bakari Akil II, Ph.D.

Most great artists, writers, comedians, movie producers, etc., when interviewed about how they come up with such great ideas, give many different answers. Ideas come to them while driving; while asleep; watching people while sitting on a park bench and the list goes on. However, what they say next is almost universal.

As soon as they can, they write their ideas down. They keep a pad by their bedside or carry around a small notebook at all times. I like to refer to it as an idea book. The concept is very simple. Great ideas can come at any time. And they can slip back into the ether just as quickly as they arrive.

The refrain from our most celebrated citizens has never changed: Write your ideas down. Keep notes. ‘Some of my greatest work has sprung forth from ideas I had in the middle of the night.’

So I have a question for you.

Where do you keep your idea book?

An idea book doesn’t have to be just for writers or comedians or celebrities who make their living by being creative. An idea book can be useful to anyone in any field and in any area of life.

We all have thoughts about how to make something better; a revolutionary way to complete a task; or an idea for an outstanding product or service. We may have ideas that are totally unrelated to anything we are currently connected with, but have the potential to change our lives.

Leonardo da Vinci carried around and had many notebooks in which he scribbled down his many different ideas and thoughts. Some of which were too advanced for anyone to grasp in his day and time. But for a mind so brilliant and always busy, we have to wonder how many times this practice helped him to keep track of some important idea or essential task.

(Leonardo) Note to Self: I have an idea for a painting of a lady with an impish smile.

We may not be as artistic or such a creative genius as da Vinci, but our ideas have merit. Every thing we use today comes from an idea someone else had.

If you don’t already, get into the habit of keeping a pad or notebook handy to record your great ideas. You never know how it might help you to contribute greatly to your own life, a family member, on the job, to a local business or some institution that serves us all.

Keep a record – Build on it – Reap the benefits

Happy writing….



Masters, D. (2002).  Renaissance Man. In  (Ed.), The Renaissance:
    Stories in History
(95-106). United States: McDougal Littell.


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